Football 2 years ago

EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly

  • EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly
  • EPL Week 13 Review: The Good, Bad and Ugly

With the final international break of 2015 finished the English Premier League returned in stunning fashion this weekend. We are just over a third of the way through the 2015/16 campaign and it is Leicester City who sit atop the EPL table. The Foxes have stunned everyone to this point but face a difficult fixture list in the upcoming weeks.

Meanwhile, Sunderland's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace completed the round, with the Black Cats now just one point away from climbing out of the relegation zone. Although things do not look so good for Aston Villa who received a 4-0 humbling at the hands of Everton, leaving them four points adrift of 19th placed Bournemouth.

Let's take a look at the major stories to emerge from this round with the 'Good, Bad and Ugly':

Good.

Roberto Firmino.

Liverpool executed a pressing master-class in their victory over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium. The 4-1 result stunned all those involved in football except for Liverpool manager, Jurgen Klopp. Klopp has recently urged his players to have more belief in themselves and be confident that they can go toe-to-toe with the bigger teams in the league.

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With Klopp's tactical nous behind them the belief is already starting to show, in particular with Roberto Firmino. Firmino, 24, arrived at Anfield from Hoffenheim in the transfer window but has struggled to settle, largely due to injuries and a lack of form.

However his man of the match performance at Manchester City suggests that the Brazilian may be ready to show the entire league what he is truly capable of. Firmino shone in the free role Klopp gave him, pressing the City defenders relentlessly and causing numerous errors. It was his cross which caused Eliaquim Mangala to concede an own goal, before the Brazilian set-up his compatriot Philippe Coutinho to score in the 23rd minute. Firmino turned from provider to finisher in the 32nd minute when he managed to score himself, as well as missing numerous other chances throughout the match. Overall, Firmino's energy and dynamism was a constant threat to the entire City back four.

Check out the complete compilation of Firmino's performance:

Bad.

Francis Coquelin's injury.

The possibility of losing their defensive midfielder is something that has always concerned Arsenal supporters. The Gunners have relied heavily on Coquelin in recent times, with the Frenchman flourishing into a very capable defensively minded player.

However a fifty-fifty challenge in the defeat to West Bromich Albion has left Coquelin sidelined, potentially for up to two months. The injury means the midfielder, who has won 61% of his defensive duels this season, will miss the frantic Christmas period and leaves Arsenal with a gaping hole to fill.

It is a bad situation for Arsenal who will have to look at playing Aaron Ramsey or Mathieu Flamini in that position, although neither have the quality of Coquelin. 

Ugly.

Manchester City.

While Liverpool was undoubtedly excellent in their 4-1 win over Manchester City, the Sky Blues contributed to the result by putting in a miserable performance.

With Vincent Kompnay absent through injury and Nicolas Otamendi starting as a substitute, there was pressure on Mangala and Martin Demichelis to perform in the centre of defence. However the two were absolutely horrendous, constantly dwelling on the ball for too long, unable to make standard defensive clearances, and not showing any signs that there was an understanding between the two of them.

Although in the defence of Mangala and Demichelis the two were unquestionably not helped by the abysmal performance of Yaya Toure. Toure, given the captains armband in the absence of Kompany, strolled around for 45 minutes without making any meaningful impact on the contest.. He was substituted at half-time as questions again begin to flare about his long-term role in the City team.

It was an ugly day at the office for City who dropped from first to third on the table at the conclusion of the round.


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